Local News

Man Charged in Daughter's Slaying Sent to Mental Hospital

Posted January 24, 2007 6:22 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2007 9:45 p.m. EST

— A Clayton man charged with killing his 4-year-old daughter has been moved to a state mental hospital.

John Patrick Violette, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 12 death of Katlin Violette. Her mother found the girl's decapitated body in the family home when she returned from work.

John Violette was arrested the following day at a Washington, D.C., hotel. He had been held at Central Prison in Raleigh since being brought back to North Carolina last week.

Defense attorney Robert Denning asked that Violette be transferred to Dorothea Dix Hospital to undergo a mental examination, which would determine if Violette can participate in his defense.

"The defendant is delusional and has lost touch with reality," Denning wrote in his motion for the mental exam.

U.S. marshals said Violette was quoting the Bible and screaming uncontrollably when they arrested him. He remained impassive last week during an initial court appearance in Smithfield.

Police said they have not determined a motive for the slaying.